Equipping Young Conservation Warriors

By on July 14, 2018

Most times when people say that children are the future of the world, they say it with a hint of nonchalance. They might say it loudly but they don’t entirely believe themselves. They often say it just to pass time or because everyone else is saying it. No one really says children are the future of the world and actually goes ahead to follow through with legitimate action plans to validate the statement. Many companies have actually said things along these lines, only to turn around and alienate the very young people they are trying to heap future responsiblity on.

While attending a National Water and Sewerage Corporation event at Kyambogo Cricket Oval on 23th July, I got the feeling that there are some companies that actually take their time to put their message of empowering young people into practice. The event by NWSC dubbed the ‘SWAS CLUBS CONVENTION’  was a culmination of events that had been taking place in previous weeks around the country. These events involved School Water and Sanitation (SWAS) Clubs from various schools submiting their work towards sanitation, hygiene and conservation as they trained and equipped students to become agents of positive change. At the event, winners from various schools and in different categories were rewarded and awarded for their innnovative ideas.

Little Winners eventually turn into Big Winners.

NWSC has over the past few years set up clubs in hundreds of schools around the country to spread the wings of conservation as far as possible. These children have embraced the spirit and are now frontline fighters for the cause of humanity – conservation. Many of these kids have come up with mindlowing innovations just to try and foster the causes of sanitation, hygiene and conservation. As is always the case, when children embrace something, you can be sure they will do it to the best of their ability if given the right support and backing. And so across the entire day, children from various schools worked hard to impress with their innovations, plays, songs, poems, drawings and other creative elements of the convention.

NWSC has been able to rally children around the country in what is now turning out to be a revolution in conservation. Uganda loses about 100,000 hectares of forest cover every year, a situation that is worsening the effect of climate change, according to the Ministry of Water and Environment. This fact alone is one that the children have embraced and decided to stand up against. They now sing a song of afforestation, climate change, conservation of the environment and proper use of water. They are the agents of change that are going out into the various communities around the country to sensitise people about the benefits of the SWAS Club objectives.

There were several plays and skits around conservation.

While it may be true that children need a lot of guidance when they are creating, the children on the day seemed to know precisely what they were doing and they seemed to know it better than most. At the end of the day when awards were being given out, there was recognition that each and every entry was worthy of the top prizes but only a few could bag the top prizes. Many of the schools won accolades, plaques, recognition and cash for their efforts towads the SWAS Club initiatives. Some were excited for winning, others gutted for not bagging the top prize, some celebrated very elaboratley, and others were graceful in their winning.

Some of the schools that were in attendance included Gombe S.S, Kabojja Junior School, Kings College Budo, Kiira College Butiki, Jinja S.S, Green Hill Primary Shool, Iganga Boys, Gayaza High School, High Road Public School Masaka, Gayaza Junior School, Central College Kamuli, Hillside Naalya, Budo Junior School, St Mary College Kisubi, Nakanyonyi Girls School, MM College Wairaka, Buganda Road Primary School, Budo Junior School, Lohana Academy, Sir Apollo Kagwa Primary School, Kibuli Muslim SS, Namagunga Girls SS, Bishop Kihangire SS, Kaliro High School, Star Education Center Bweyale, St Kizito SS, Nabisunsa Girls School, Namilyango College, Seeta High School, Grand Maria Primary School, Lugazi Homestone SS, St. Peters SS Nsambya and Kamuli Township Primary School among others.

Children from all over the country were in attendance. 

 

While each of these schools was well represented with students and teachers, there was a general consensus that children were actually taking the lead in the fight for environmental conservation.

The SWAS clubs have been running for a while now and they were formed to widen the discussion of water and sanitation as children are often victims of poor sanitation. The clubs are also intended to create awareness about water and sanitation in the country through sensitisation and empowerment of children of school going age, strengthen stakeholder participation in water and sanitation issues and enhance participation, foster debate, share information and knowledge about water and sanitation.

NWSC MD Dr. Siver Mugisha emphasised the importance of preserving and conserving the environment.

It is therefore safe to say that while the event at Kyambogo Cricket oval was hugely successful and while there were hundreds of students who attended, the message needs to go further out into the country and it needs to be echoed a lot louder. Only then shall we recruit all children of school going age into this thing called Environmental conservation.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” ― Chris MaserForest Primeval : The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

Bernard
a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol – The Talkative Rocker

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